General perception systems such as Perceivers can process arbitrary modalities in any combination and are able to handle up to a few hundred thousand inputs. They achieve this generality by exclusively using global attention operations. This however hinders them from scaling up to the inputs sizes required to process raw high-resolution images or video. In this paper, we show that some degree of locality can be introduced back into these models, greatly improving their efficiency while preserving their generality. To scale them further, we introduce a self-supervised approach that enables learning dense low-dimensional positional embeddings for very large signals. We call the resulting model a Hierarchical Perceiver (HiP). HiP retains the ability to process arbitrary modalities, but now at higher-resolution and without any specialized preprocessing, improving over flat Perceivers in both efficiency and accuracy on the ImageNet, Audioset and PASCAL VOC datasets.

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